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Garbage or Resource? A Dominican Republic Experience

Dominican Republic – 2015

Films Sustainable Practices and Attitudes GFDD Productions


  • Wednesday, September 14 - 6:00pm
    Oficina Técnica Provincial, Hermanas Mirabal (Salcedo)
  • Thursday, September 15 - 4:00pm
    Saint George School, Santo Domingo
  • Thursday, September 15 - 7:00pm
    Hotel Villa Serena, Las Galeras, Samaná

The Dominican Republic has more than 340 open-air landfills without any type of management or control, which have become highly-concentrated areas of air and water pollution. Fortunately, the country is witnessing cultural changes which are creating initiatives that convert this “problem” into an opportunity for development. The message is clear: trash is no longer just trash, rather it has value. As long as trash can be utilized, it is not trash. The appropriate term is “discarded material,” a resource which is raw material and then turned into a new product. Produced by GFDD/Funglode, the film depicts how recycling has become an important economic opportunity for Dominicans.

Directors: Natasha Despotovic and Alex Tabar

Country: Dominican Republic

Year: 2015

Duration: 17 min

Language: Spanish

Subtitles: English


Alexandra Tabar
Alexandra Tabar born in the Dominican Republic, Alex has also lived in Barcelona, Miami and finally was adopted by New York City in 2008. She majored in Advertising and completed her Master’s Degree in Media Production. In more than 10 years she has developed a diverse portfolio, with projects spanning from entertainment to educational content for web, mobile, video/onair and print.

Natasha Despotovic
Natasha Despotovic is the director of the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF) and the executive director of the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD), a US non profit organization. A national of Croatia and the Dominican Republic, Natasha currently lives in the Washington DC metro area and divides her working time between Washington DC, New York and the Dominican Republic . Following an academic background in Philosophy and Spanish, French and English literature and linguistics, Natasha has had an extensive and diverse international career in which she has held-high level positions in the private, public, non-governmental and multilateral sectors in Europe, the Dominican Republic and the United States. Her professional experience is very expansive and ranges from teaching, writing, translation, film production, architecture, interior design and holistic health to business management, public relations, marketing, international development, international affairs and non-profit management. At GFDD she leads numerous international sustainable development programs as well as book publishing and filmmaking projects. In her free time, she continues to operate her hotel property Villa Serena in the Dominican Republic and practices as a yoga and meditation teacher and homeopath.

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Sustainable Foods
Films to help us reflect on the food we eat, how it’s produced, and the effects of our daily eating decisions on our environment.

These films help us explore the oceans and seas and their corals; birds and other species under threat of extinction; and the abuses committed by humans against global biodiversity. Inspiring, emotive, dramatic, and impactful stories that are guaranteed to rouse any viewer out of apathy.

Climate Change
A selection of films showing the broad reach of the effects of climate change on our lives. From innovative looks at previously neglected sectors (such as commercial shipping) to reflections on properly evaluating a nation’s wealth through its natural resources, cultural heritage, and opportunities for improvement in all areas affected by climate change.

Clean Energy
A look at clean energy alternatives that open the path to a future free of fossil fuels. Films analyzing issues ranging from the effects of coal on the Dominican-Haitian border and oil spills in our oceans, to a survey of the currently available sources of renewable energy.

Sustainable Practices and Attitudes
Provocative projects, innovative ideas, and manifold possibilities that show us how to adopt new attitudes and practices to contribute to sustainability. In our daily consumption of products and services (electricity, clothing, hygiene products, and more), in building our homes, in recycling: small actions can yield big results.

And there’s more...
Ecofilm Kids’ Short Films Program. A special collaboration between DREFF and the Ecofilm International Environmental Short Film Festival in Mexico.

DREFF’s Programs
Throughout the Year

Since the inception of the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF) in 2011, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) has created and developed 6 year-round programs that make a significant contribution to the sustainable development of the Dominican Republic.

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